World Cup Wrap & Back On The Road

Cobber & Hamma morning of the finals at the World Cup


A great to sight to see the young Aust Women's Eight out in front 

It was great to see a World Cup being help in Australia, even though numbers were low there was still some great racing. For Australia a couple of stand outs included the Gold's from Kim Crow, Men's Four, Women's Eight and Women's Quad. Things have to be kept in perspective but these crews all did a good job considering the demands of club and State racing leading up to the World Cup races.

Internationally I enjoyed watching the GB Women's pair, Kiwi Lwt four the french pair and the GB men's eight. Another note for me was when watching many of the USA crews and obviously were they are at in their preparations, but what I liked was a commitment to rhythm and length. In fact for this time of the year it was good to seeing racing done with this focus.

As for our Australian team we are young and I was really happy to see how everyone worked together to represent our Country on home soil. Its early in the International season and the point was made about seeing all this as a step in the journey to this years World, but also towards Rio.

From a skills perspective I have enjoyed seeing many of our Aussie chargers being wiling to take risks, to try new things, to learn from every outing. We have talk a lot about length of stroke, of posture, sequencing, and connection. Many times the concept of letting the boat run and be drawn to the athlete during the recovery has been heard and lots of messages about learning to drive more through the water. I think our girls in particular are picking this up very well, but that said I am noticing great willingness to put these into practice across all categories. To me what was noticeable was that the better crews all looks better connected to the water and all appeared to have more time. There something magical about that look which is created by a great crew and a team in flow. You know plenty of work is going on under the hood but on the surface it looks easy.

As for in Rowing Australia we are working on building a great coaching team. By being more effective as leaders in our sport and being better at working together its the plan to better prepare our athletes and crews. We have a pretty clear direction but it will become more so after this first 12 months when planning kicks up a gear and after the first year of the Olympic cycle has been seen, enjoyed and absorbed.  For the athletes we simple ask they have fun, make the most of their opportunities and continue to take risks with how they row and learn.

From here we are now preparing for our April trials were the team will be picked for a short tour to the next two World Cups and the trip to the Worlds.

This week I was back on the road again and this time into QLD to enjoy some time with athletes up there.

WHERE?

Wyaralong Dam https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/71875393

Location is south of Brisbane


View Larger Map


View Larger Map

Wyaralong Dam https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/71875393

So this visit to QLD the QAS through Tim Conrad and Tom Westgarth set about inviting many of the areas developing athletes to come to Wyaralong for a series of training sessions. It would give me the chance to meet many of the athletes and coaches while in one location and to also scope out the venue for possible future training camps.

Here are some picture below of the visit. This could be a truly amazing training and competition venue if Rowing Queensland and the state government can work out how to support rowing with a venue like this.

Currently the boating area - but you need permission

Looking down what could eventually be a 2000m course

Looking across the possible course up one of the many extra reaches of water

Having some fun on Mark Osborne's new bike back at QAS

The innovation up north is dazzling

Athletes getting ready for a session

The extra preparations needed while no speed boats are allowed with out permission
After the Fri morning session I had the chance to speak to the whole group about my perspective, some observations and key messages. It was great to see such a mix of athletes from recent World Cup athletes to junior champions from the National Champs.

Obviously when I see this type of thing I get that feeling of wanting to be out on the water. The dam has some amazing possibilities which I said to the group should be appreciated. It was only 2 years ago that this dam was created so these young rowers are forging new territory. As for watching the group train I enjoyed seeing many trying to put into practice many of the things their coaches have obviously been working with them on.

My stand out was watching a number of crews working to row longer and more effective and seeing the immediate benefits in speed were noticeable. For many of these athletes ongoing work with building their engines is key while learning to be more stable in the boat as they go for length. From a rhythm perspective I noted that is hard to create rhythm with out significant drive. Drive generates boat speed and rhythm, sequencing, pacing add the icing on the cake. I am a big one for connection out front and as I explained the the athletes when you get better connected it actually feels heavier initially. The once extra speed is generated the connection feels easier.

So that was my trip to QLD and my next stop after being home for a few days is now SA. The city of churches awaits me and in the morning I will be out on the water at West Lakes.

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